Dissertation Outline: What You Need to Know

Dissertation Outline

Essay writing has been and probably will be an important ingredient of a study process. Despite the fact that it helps students develop a particular set of skills and ability to organize themselves, develop their logical thinking, and generally prepare them for their carrier, for many, it is a thorn in their side during the entire learning process. 

Essays and research papers will seem nothing compared to your project for obtaining a Master’s or Doctoral degree. These are the types of projects that influence your career. If you are planning to obtain a Doctoral degree, you know that you will need to compose a winning dissertation to get the desired degree and become a high performer. Recipe for writing a winning dissertation is a good outline. 

When you write your dissertation, you need to stick to your topic and not to be distracted by unimportant information. The dissertation structure will help you with this. When you plan your paper, you will be able to collect only the information relevant to your topic, and then organize it in a logical order. When you make a draft, it gives you an opportunity to link your arguments to the thesis and achieve the set goals. Since a dissertation is not a small essay, and it is easy to get lost and repeat the same material in the text, outlining can become a great tool to avoid it. 

Normally, when you handle your outline to your professor, it is a sketch that contains the presentation of your topic and your main ideas. In the future, it can become your proposal. You just need to arrange it correctly. And remember, if there are any obstacles that do not allow you to begin composing your dissertation outline right away, do not waste time, and ask professional writers for help.

Different universities may give you slightly different requirements for writing an outline for the dissertation. However, the basic aspects to reveal in your project are universal. It normally consists of 5 sections:

  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Methodology 
  • Data analysis 
  • Conclusion

Preparing Dissertation Outline Real Quick

When you prepare to write your dissertation, you need to be ready to focus on several things at once. A useful tool that will help you follow the main idea of your future paper is essential. Thus, you can write down the main sections and the subsections you will add. 

Finding an interesting topic

If you manage to choose a topic that interests you, you will spend less time writing the introduction and proceed to the main issues right away. Things become much easier when you write about something you like. For example, it will take you almost no effort composing an attractive title, comprehensive abstract, and a table of contents. However, it is advisable to carry out the research first. Maybe, you would want to test several topics before you submit one for approval to your academic supervisor. 

Inventing a methodology for gathering necessary materials

You are free to choose the methodology for gathering the needed data. You can include an interview or questionnaires. No matter what you choose, just be sure that the method allows you are selecting the materials suitable for your case. 

Developing the structure of your future paper

Sketch the structure of your research paper – design the five sections mentioned in this article above. If the requirements permit, you can add another section if needed. Remember that paying attention to details is very important. If you struggle with the outline structure, ask your academic supervisor for an example. 

In case the structure of your future work and the outline coincide, you can use the ideas and arguments as guidelines. Your next step would be writing a capacious draft for the main sections – intro, body, and conclusion. Use your supporting arguments to make a more powerful thesis. 

Briefly about Sections of the Outline

Remember that despite a lot of common things, there is no one universal template of outline that can be used in any subject. If you write a dissertation in Social Sciences, your outline will include 4-5 sections, while other disciplines may be longer or shorter. It is advisable to check with your supervisor before you start. Below, you will see an example of the basic 5-sectional outline.

1.   Intro. Normally, you will present the general and background information on the problem you research. After that, you need to introduce your thesis. 

You also provide the reason for your research and the questions you set. You should also add a passage about the relevance of your topic. If you use narrow terms, you will need to provide clear and understandable definitions to them. 

In the introduction, you mention a few your personal thoughts on your findings and possible limitations.

You may end the intro part with providing some additional data if there is a need. 

2.   Literature review. 

In this part, you should collect and mention all your sources of data. Give their description, list them, investigate, and analyze. 

In some cases, depending on the topic you cover, you will be providing a detailed review of all used sources.

3.   Qualitative methodology 

In the first section, you need to provide research design, questions of the scientific relevance, preparations for analysis, persons, or object of study.

The next paragraph should be devoted to your methods of data collection after that goes a big part – analysis of the data. Citing, quotations, and other methods are appropriate to use here. 

4.   Quantitative research methods 

This section follows the research design right away. You should present a description of your problem, questions set to the problem, as well as a hypothesis. This section differs from the previous one with available examples and statistics that relate to your methodology. You can also describe the methods you applied to collect the needed material. Ending with an analysis of these methods would be a good idea. 

5.   Combines methodology

If you use combined methods, you should begin with the short overview and description of your strategy. Proceed to present your hypothesis and describing the research goals. When you analyze the collected materials for your research, make references to the scientific journals. 

6.   Outcomes of your research.

The goal to follow in the fourth section is to give comprehensive descriptions of your findings. You need to arrange them in a certain order – either by the research questions or hypothesis. In this part, you only write about what you have found during your research. 

7.   Conclusion

In conclusion, you present a broader description of your findings. It is in this section you make your personal assessment whether they were useful or not.  

After the analysis, present the list of goals you managed to achieve in the process. If there is a need, you can also speak about some additional methods and investigations that can be done on the problem. In this part, you can also add your personal opinion and explain the reasons for using this particular writing style. And remember to check everything several times not to miss anything important. 

Dissertation Outline Example

Below you will find an example of a dissertation outline you can use for your research. 

1.     Introduction.

  • Intro part
  • Research problem and its background
  • Statement
  • Research goal and questions
  • Relevance
  • Suggestions and assumptions
  • Conclusion

2.     Literature review

  • Intro
  • General background 
  • Review of used sources
  • Evaluation of the used literature 

3.      Research methodology

  • Essential questions
  • Statement of the selected method for research
  • Methodology relevance
  • A detailed description of techniques used for research
  • Data analysis
  • Conclusion

4.     Results of research

  • Description of the obtained outcomes 
  • Analysis of the outcomes and achieve goals 

5.    Summary

  • Discussion of the obtained outcomes
  • Comparison of your outcomes with the outcomes of other authors
  • Variants of using the obtained results in the field of study and additional research 

Professional Dissertation Help

The dissertation is a determinative type of academic writings that has a direct impact on your future career. This is why many students, even having a good outline, seek professional assistance. You can get professional assistance at each stage of writing your dissertation. Our writers have been doing it for many years and know how to write a comprehensive wining dissertation. 

Save your time and contact us right now!

Support image